Sankt Moritz is a well known ski resort in the Upper Engadine (Oberengadin) region, in the canton Graubünden. It lies at the 1856 m altitude and has a reputation of being the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism. One of the first ski lifts in Switzeland began running in there in 1935. The town has hosted the Winter Olympics twice: in 1928 and 1948. In February it had also hosted the 2017 FIS Ski World Championship. As such, it was a clear choice for this year’s annual ski trip with my father, brother and husband.
DAY 1: EXPLORING SANKT MORITZ
We’ve travelled from Luzern to Sankt Moritz by car. For driving the distance of 226 km we needed almost three hours. The first leg of the route flew by, but last leg took us through the curvy mountain road over the Julier Pass which was quite time consuming. It was also the most scenic part of the route. After we arrived to Sankt Moritz, I was happy we’ve booked the hotel for a night. The day ski trip from Lucerne would be way too exhausting.
After our arrival to Sankt Moritz, we’ve easily found our hotel located in Suvretta area. Despite we were few hours earlier than its hotel’s official check-in time, we were able to check-in and access our rooms.
Even though we were still early enough to go skiing, we decided against it. The grey skies over Sankt Moritz and and not too promising weather forecast (snow in the mountains) made us take the decision to rather explore the town than to go skiing. Mainly because ski passes in Sankt Moritz are very expensive even for the Swiss standards: area day-ski passes cost 79 CHF and half-day ski passes 69 CHF. As the conditions weren’t the best and we were a bit tired from the travel, we probably wouldn’t took full advantage of the ski pass.
The Sankt Moritz ski resort is divided into separate villages located around or near the lake. We walked from our hotel in Suvretta area to centre of Sankt Moritz. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by the look of the town. Despite the beautiful setting in midst of the Alps and a gorgeous frozen lake, the town lacked the alpine charm many other Swiss Alpine towns has. It is too big, too full of concrete eye-sores and the purpose built flats.
Sankt Moritz is well known as the hangout of the rich and famous. Charlie Chaplin, Brigitte Bardot, Alfred Hitchcock, Liz Taylor, Tina Turner, and Heidi Klum are just of few famous names who spent winter holidays in Sankt Moritz. We didn’t spot any famous person, but we definitely sensed that posh vibe of the town.
All in all, it was a nice walk around the town, but I was more than a happy to returned back to our hotel and spend the rest of the day at the hotel’s spa and wellness.
Day 2: Skiing the Corviglia slopes
The second morning in Sankt Moritz we woke up early in the morning. After the delicious and filling breakfast, we’ve changed to our ski gear, packed our things in our car, and checked out from our rooms. We’ve grabbed our skis and and went skiing.
The Sankt Moritz ski area is separated in four main separate ski areas (Corvatsch, Corviglia, Diavolezza, Zuoz) and has in total 350 km of ski runs with 58 lifts. We’ve opted for Corviglia ski area, stretching at the altitudes from 1720 to 3057m, easy accessible by foot from our hotel in the Suvretta.
This March was very warm and the high temperatures definitely took it’s tool on the snow. There were only few patches of snow left at the foot of the hill, but at the highest parts of the ski resort there were still a good level of snow on the piste.
Sankt Moritz is famous of having about 300 days of sunshine each year. Unfortunately, we were there on one of the rest 65 days when the sky was covered by the thick layer of clouds. When we arrived to the top, it was even snowing. The skiing conditions weren’t perfect, but the first few runs were still great. Nothing can beat skiing the untouched slopes.
Throughout the day the weather conditions got better. It stopped snowing and we’ve even witnessed few rays of sunshine. With the day gone by it became clear, the spring is already knocking on the door. The temperatures rose what made snow slushy and harder to ski.
The ski resort is easy to navigate. We found our way around the slopes pretty quickly. We’ve skied most of the 100km of runs at Corviglia ski area, including the ones which were used in the recent FIS Ski World Championship. Most of most of them were wide reds – the kind of slopes I like the best.
The ski runs were well linked by the network of chairlifts, mountain train and gondolas. The lift system worked very well and we never queued for the lifts. If not for the grey weather, it would have been perfect day.
We’ve skied for most of the day before we went for a late lunch at one of the mountain huts. Filled with delicious rösti and already quite tired, we didn’t feel like skiing on a slushy spring snow anymore. Because the slope to the valley was already closed due to the lack of snow, we took the lift to the valley. Tired, but happy we’ve left Sankt Moritz and returned back home.